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The COVID-19 EIDS Tool Use

Recently the EIDS Tool has been modified to deal specifically with the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to use the update tool, the agency must be on the latest version of ProQA (currently 5.1.3.3).

In this updated version, the IAED has added the ability for agencies to add up to five (5) additional questions and/or (5) additional instructions as approved by the Medical Director.

The tool works in two separate modes:
Surveillance Mode: Simply records the findings.
Trigger Mode: When there is a positive answer to three (3) or more trigger questions, this mode activates a warning to alert the Emergency Dispatcher that there is “reasonable likelihood of Coronavirus”. This warning can then be shared with response personnel.

The IAED suggests that the tool is kept in Surveillance Mode until such time Health Care or Emergency Operation Center Administrators announce your service area is under pandemic conditions or other similar statements.

Additionally, The IAED encourages agencies to remind Emergency Dispatchers to use Protocol 26 or Protocol 6 when the information indicates a patient has Flu-like symptoms.

Special Release of ProQA (anticipated by March 25)

The IAED will be releasing a special version of ProQA with an additional operant question on P26 and a new “C” suffix to better capture a suspected COVID-19 patient.

Paramount Admin Setting:

There are four (4) COVID-19 areas in the Restricted Settings of ProQA Admin:
General Tab: Choose the Disease Surveillance Tool mode (Surveillance or Trigger)
EIDS Tool tab: Enter any Medical Director approved questions and/or instructions
P26 tab: Check the box if the agency wishes to add the optional operant (blue for you) question to assist with use of the EIDS Tool *available in upcoming special release of ProQA
Response Configuration: Set Active Response Levels (1-4). These will be available on every protocol once they are set.

Launching the EIDS Tool:

Currently in ProQA, the EIDS Tool is manually launched by the Emergency Dispatcher when appropriate (as per agency training/policy). The recommended workflow for the tool is to complete all Key Questions on P26 and then launch the EIDS tool before SEND . This then will give evidence, or no clear evidence of a suspected COVID-19 infection.

Use of Protocol 36 Pandemic / Epidemic / Outbreak (Surveillance or Triage):

If COVID-19, or any pandemic outbreak, has a large enough impact as to overwhelm the emergency system, it is important to remember that emergency dispatch and response agencies will also lose personnel to illness or quarantine. If these events occur, agencies can then begin to use Protocol 36 Pandemic / Epidemic / Outbreak (Surveillance or Triage). This protocol is designed to only be used when an agency has made the decision to alter or diminish EMS responses in general or to a specific subset of patients (such as those with Flu-Like symptoms) that do not present with more immediately life-threatening conditions. This will act as in initial triage of patients to reduce immediate response criteria within an overburdened or understaffed emergency response system.

In order to ensure that this protocol works as designed it is imperative that the agency define and set the Active Levels of Response 1-4 (Surveillance, Low Triage, Moderate Triage, High Triage). Only then can the agency objectively identify which patients would receive home care or quarantine, and which will still receive a response; even if it is delayed or altered response. Definition of the Response Levels 1-4 requires careful consideration and discussion with agency administrators, Medical Director, and possibly those oversight entities and local, regional, and national levels as appropriate.

Links to all IAED COVID Documents:

  1. Background on the COVID Outbreak
  2. IAED CBRN Committee Statement
  3. IAED Download for New EIDS Tool (all languages)
  4. World Health Organization
  5. Log In for PDC Software Support to obtain P36 Special Briefing

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